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Jacksonville NC Area Guide

Jacksonville is the commercial hub of Onslow County and home to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River

Jacksonville and Onslow County are home to more than 150,000 residents The once quiet farming community has grown into the business, retail, medical, banking and a cultural center.

There are several major Marine Corps commands and one Navy command aboard Camp Lejeune. Some tenant commands include Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, II Marine Expeditionary Force, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, and the naval hospital to name a few. Marine Corps Base owns all the real estate, hosts entry-level and career-level formal schools and provides support and training for tenant commands; II Marine Expeditionary Force conducts operational planning for Fleet Marine Force commands; 2nd Marine Division is the ground combat element of II MEF; 2nd Marine Logistics Group is the combat service support element of II MEF; and 2nd Marine Air Wing, headquartered at Cherry Point, N.C., is the air combat element of II MEF. Additionally, the naval hospital provides primary medical care to service members and their families stationed at Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River. Currently there are approx. 44,000 personnel on the base and 10,000 more are expected to arrive over the next year.

The new Osprey Helicopter program uses the area for all testing and is now ready for full roll out and deployment. This program is expected to attract many civilian and military personnel alike.

Onslow County, North Carolina has been graced with an extraordinary natural coastal beauty with over 30 miles of wide, unspoiled beaches sprinkled with shells, waters teeming with an abundance of marine life, forests filled with sporting wildlife and farmland rich with harvests.

Our wide, secluded beaches are favorite nesting sites for the endangered loggerhead sea turtle. Hammocks Beach State Park, located just off the mainland near Swansboro, has become nationally acclaimed as a coastal wildlife nature preserve. The 890-acre island, named "Bear Island," is listed in the registry of Natural Heritage areas and is home to maritime forests, broad salt marshes, impressive sand dunes and pristine beaches. Visitors may access the island park by private boat or the passenger ferry operated by the park.

Recreation choices for land lovers are equally diverse. Take a daily stroll on the beach, collect amazing seashells, go camping, biking, horseback riding, bird watching or kite flying. Enjoy an old fashioned hayride, a game of miniature golf, a rowdy rodeo, roller skating, square dancing or catch an exciting race at the Coastal Plains Dragway, a National Hotrod Association sanctioned dragstrip. Coastal Plains Raceway, fourtenths of a mile oval track, opened in 1999 and became NASCAR-sanctioned in January 2000.

Challenging spectacular golf is also an important part of our area's outdoor fun. Breathtaking scenery and waterway views enhance your enjoyment on bentgrass greens and lush Bermuda fairways. Area accommodations offer special golf packages year 'round.